Clemson Students Threw Party with 100 Despite COVID-19 Crisis

City police broke up the party. Clemson University police have been asked to communicate to students the need for them to practice social distancing.
Published: April 10, 2020

Clemson, S.C. – The city of Clemson is stepping up its enforcement of social-distancing orders at private residences after police there broke up a party of at least 100 college students last Friday.

The party, which was held at a home rented by a Clemson student, didn’t fall under Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order prohibiting public gatherings of more than three people. However, local law enforcement was able to break up the party by using the city’s social host ordinance, which was passed by the city council two years ago, reports Upstate Today. Originally passed to address gatherings that get out of control and affect other city residents, the ordinance was also designed to protect public health, as well as the safety, peace and welfare of the community.

The breakup of the party was prompted by several calls from local residents, reports Greenville News. The city of Clemson also reached out to Clemson University, asking campus Police Chief Greg Mullen to communicate to students the need for them to practice social distancing.

In its most recent update on the COVID-19 crisis, the school said: “Clemson University officials were notified of student gatherings in the City of Clemson and Oconee County over the weekend, contributing to unsafe situations with groups gathering in excess of the numbers permissible under the current state regulations. Students found responsible for gatherings on or off campus are subject to the University’s student code of conduct, as well as possible sanctions under local laws.”

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Just this week, Gov. McMaster issued a “home or work” order, which requires residents to stay at home or at work unless they are visiting family members, exercising or shopping for essential goods or services. The new order is a follow up to the March 23 executive order stating, “law enforcement has the ability to disperse groups of people who pose a risk to the public’s safety and to the safety of others.”

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